Saturn photo gallery
35th Anniversary Open House

Observatory and Planetarium
Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois


Saturday, May 1, 2004, 8:30-10:00 pm
Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium will be open to the public on Saturday, May 1, 2004 for an evening of star gazing and science fun in honor of our 35th anniversary. The planetarium, located at 820 38th Street, will be open from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., with indoor and outdoor programs in the planetarium, the Carl Gamble Observatory, and the building's grounds.

The John Deere Planetarium was dedicated May 2nd, 1969 after years of hard work by the first director, Dr. Harry Nelson, and many other astronomy visionaries from Augustana College and the Quad Cities. Over the last 35 years the planetarium has hosted dozens of open houses, two Apollo astronauts and more that 100,000 school children. The planetarium continues today to fulfill our mission to bring the magic of the night sky to our campus, community and the central Midwest.

The John Deere Planetarium has a variety of activities planned for the open house.  The telescopes of the Carl Gamble Observatory will offer views of Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and other astronomical objects (weather permitting).  The Getz-Rogers Gallery will be displaying images of celestial objects and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor.  In addition, visitors will be able to attend a planetarium show with images and information on the wonders of the night sky.

Planetarium Director Dr. Lee Carkner will be joined by Director Emeritus Dr. Mel Peterson, members of the Augustana College Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Augustana College Physics Club in leading the programs and in answering visitor questions.

The observatory is unheated so please dress as appropriate for the weather.  In the event of cloudy sky conditions, the indoor planetarium programs will still be offered.  There is no charge for admission. For more information contact Dr. Lee Carkner at 309-794-7327.

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